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Thursday, 20 December, 2018, 21 : 21 PM [IST]

Kerala’s Tourism industry joins ‘Boycott Hartal’ bandwagon

Kerala Tourism Task Force, a collective body of travel and tourism industry representing 28 trade associations in the State, has decided to join other chambers of trade and industry in the state in the movement against the menace of politically motivated ‘hartals’ which bring life and business in the State to a standstill.  

Kerala had witnessed an estimated 97 state-wide ‘hartals’ in 2018 alone, leave alone many smaller ones at district and municipal levels.  

Although, an all-party meeting few months back at the aegis of the Chief Minister had decided to exempt Tourism sector from the ambit of Hartals in the state, it didn’t have any impact whatsoever at the ground level. 

In the last Hartal of the series of Hartals stuck the State since Sabarimala issue erupted, a tourist bus carrying German tourist group was waylaid in Kozhikode in Kerala by Hartal supporters. 

In the last few days, various industry associations have come forward openly taking stance against recurring Hartals in the State. Each Hartal, according to business and industry in the state, leaves a hole of an estimated INR 500 cr to the business and industry in the State. The traders’ body in the state had decided to challenge the Hartals by opening shops and establishments. Similarly, the association of movie hall owners have also announced their decision to boycott hartals and keep the cinema halls open.

 “It has become a nuisance now. Therefore 28 associations representing the travel, tourism and hotel industry decided to join the movement against Hartal in the State,” said Abraham George, immediate past President of KTM. The industry will seek police protection and if needed will go for legal recourse, he added.

 “It’s a movement for the good that is sweeping Kerala today. If we don’t join it now and take a stern decision, the opportunity will be lost. Three successive hartals that too in the peak tourism season of December had a really damaging impact on tourism industry. It was too much for an industry which was trying really hard to recover from the Floods,” said PK Aneeshkumar, President of ATTOI, a constituent of Kerala Tourism Task Force.
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